Capcom Fighting Jam PS2 Review

The popularity of Street Fighter II was huge back in its heyday and even since the dawn of the 3D fighting evolution Capcom still deserve a ton of respect for bringing so much to the genre. Whilst other Capcom brawlers weren’t total success stories it’s clear to see that these guys know their 2D fighting titles inside and out. Fighting Jam is a collective force of 2D fighting games, which includes three versions of Street Fighter alongside Dark Stalkers and Red Earth.

Firstly lets talk characters, as Capcom’s roster is perhaps a little questionable. Including fighters from Red Earth was a strange decision on the stellar Japanese developers part, as the title is basically an unknown quantity outside its homeland. The good side is the fact that these set of characters will be a fresh cast to many, the bad side is that some of them are blatantly cheap and mesh badly (Hauzer the spotlight is on you). The Street Fighter representatives include everyone from the obligatory Ryu to Guile, Chun Li and Guy; with an impressive 13 from the aforementioned seminal series it’s strange that Ken wasn’t included alongside more of the Street Fighter II cast. Then there’s Darkstalkers of course, which includes Felica, Demitri, Jedah and Anakaris. Capcom even saw fit to include a brand new character, but sadly she isn’t the most memorable of the bunch.

Initially Capcom Fighting Jam appears to offer some sort of a Tag Team option, but this soon turned to dust as we realised that there’s very little strategy involved when matches are actually underway. You choose a couple of characters from the massive cast and then can swap between the two at the interval of rounds. It’s certainly nice to be able to play as two different characters during one match, but that’s as far as it goes, leaving us to ponder why it wasn’t taken a little further.

Graphically Capcom Fighting Jam is a mixed bag. Characters vary in quality from one another, which looks a little strange at times as an old sprite faces off against a newer sprite. The backgrounds are well drawn and look interesting but the muted colours take away some of the personality. It is nice to see cameos from some of the unplayable characters though; in dispute of this it obviously comes secondary to actually taking control.

Not Capcom at their fighting best, but still a worthy inclusion into the 2D fighting genre. The game lacks the balance of the Street Fighter series, meaning the well-poised characters are hurricane kicked out of the window; these balance issues need not be a concern if you learn who not to mix and match when it comes to the character selection screen. For the inexpensive price (which may very well be the standard for 2D fighting games now) the real hardcore fan should probably find something of interest here with this copy and paste assortment of past Capcom brawlers.